“Trainer save” added to Biggest Loser; cast includes 462-pound Ruben Studdard

American Idol 2 winner Ruben Studdard will be on the 15th season of The Biggest Loser this fall; the 462-pound singer will be “the show’s first celebrity player,” according to NBC, and he’s also the season’s biggest person. The 15-person cast also includes Olympic weightlifter Holley Mangold.

Also a first: the trainers helped cast the show, and will each be allowed to save one contestant during the season–kind of like Tim Gunn’s new power on Project Runway. That continues a trend of reality competitions giving people second chances, which perhaps not coincidentally is this season’s theme.

In a preview video, linked in the playlist below, Jillian says, “This game is fundamentally unfair, because it is a game.” She says the save is “the great equalizer” because the contestants “want to be worth saving” so they will work harder and rely less on alliances.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.